Our Year in Review: The Most Downloaded Titles of 2023

In 2023, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine continued to provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world, informing policy with evidence and sparking progress and innovation. This list of the most downloaded titles published last year reflects the breadth of the National Academies’ work. As always, they are free to download.

Advancing Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEMM Organizations: Beyond Broadening Participation

Advancing Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEMM Organizations: Beyond Broadening Participation

Individuals from minoritized racial and ethnic groups continue to face systemic barriers that impede their ability to access, persist, and thrive in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) higher education and …[more]

Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy

Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy

The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are a set of reference values that encompass a safe range of intake and provide recommended nutrient intakes for the United States and Canada. The DRIs for energy are used widely to provide guidance for …[more]

Using Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Research: A New Framework for an Evolving Field

Using Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Research: A New Framework for an Evolving Field

Genetic and genomic information has become far more accessible, and research using human genetic data has grown exponentially over the past decade. Genetics and genomics research is now being conducted by a wide range of investigators across …[more]

Laying the Foundation for New and Advanced Nuclear Reactors in the United States

Laying the Foundation for New and Advanced Nuclear Reactors in the United States

The world confronts an existential challenge in responding to climate change, resulting in an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the economy. What will it take for new and advanced nuclear reactors to play a role …[more]

Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions

Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions

Addressing climate change is essential and possible, and it offers a host of benefits – from better public health to new economic opportunities. The United States has a historic opportunity to lead the way in decarbonization by transforming its …[more]

Behavioral Economics: Policy Impact and Future Directions

Behavioral Economics: Policy Impact and Future Directions

Behavioral economics – a field based in collaborations among economists and psychologists – focuses on integrating a nuanced understanding of behavior into models of decision-making. Since the mid-20th century, this growing field has produced …[more]

Addressing the Long-Term Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families

Addressing the Long-Term Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the lives of children and their families, who have faced innumerable challenges such as illness and death; school closures; social isolation; financial hardship; food insecurity; …[more]

Wastewater-based Disease Surveillance for Public Health Action

Wastewater-based Disease Surveillance for Public Health Action

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a rapid expansion of wastewater-based infectious disease surveillance systems to monitor and anticipate disease trends in communities.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the National …[more]

An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report

An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report

Extreme weather and wildfires, intensified by climate change, are damaging the native plant communities of landscapes across the United States. Native plant communities are foundational to thriving ecosystems, delivering goods and services that …[more]

Federal Policy to Advance Racial, Ethnic, and Tribal Health Equity

Federal Policy to Advance Racial, Ethnic, and Tribal Health Equity

Racially and ethnically minoritized populations and tribal communities often face preventable inequities in health outcomes due to structural disadvantages and diminished opportunities around health care, employment, education, and more. Federal …[more]

Achieving Whole Health: A New Approach for Veterans and the Nation

Achieving Whole Health: A New Approach for Veterans and the Nation

Whole health is physical, behavioral, spiritual, and socioeconomic well-being as defined by individuals, families, and communities. Whole health care is an interprofessional, team-based approach anchored in trusted relationships …[more]

An Updated Measure of Poverty: (Re)Drawing the Line

An Updated Measure of Poverty: (Re)Drawing the Line

An accurate measure of poverty is necessary to fully understand how the economy is performing across all segments of the population and to assess the effects of government policies on communities and families. In addition, poverty statistics are …[more]

Foundational Research Gaps and Future Directions for Digital Twins

Foundational Research Gaps and Future Directions for Digital Twins

Across multiple domains of science, engineering, and medicine, excitement is growing about the potential of digital twins to transform scientific research, industrial practices, and many aspects of daily life. A digital twin couples computational …[more]

Recycled Plastics in Infrastructure: Current Practices, Understanding, and Opportunities

Recycled Plastics in Infrastructure: Current Practices, Understanding, and Opportunities

In the U.S., most plastics waste is disposed in landfills, but a significant amount also ends up as litter on land, rivers, and oceans. Today, less than 10 percent of plastics waste is recycled in the U.S. annually. The use of recycled plastics …[more]

Foundations of Data Science for Students in Grades K-12: Proceedings of a Workshop

Foundations of Data Science for Students in Grades K-12: Proceedings of a Workshop

On September 13 and 14, 2022, the Board on Science Education at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop entitled Foundations of Data Science for Students in Grades K–12. Speakers and participants explored …[more]

Reducing Intergenerational Poverty

Reducing Intergenerational Poverty

Experiencing poverty during childhood can lead to lasting harmful effects that compromise not only children’s health and welfare but can also hinder future opportunities for economic mobility, which may be passed on to future generations. This …[more]

Social Media and Adolescent Health

Social Media and Adolescent Health

Social media has been fully integrated into the lives of most adolescents in the U.S., raising concerns among parents, physicians, public health officials, and others about its effect on mental and physical health. Over the past year, an ad hoc …[more]

Closing the Opportunity Gap for Young Children

Closing the Opportunity Gap for Young Children

Many young children in the United States are thriving and have access to the conditions and resources they need to grow up healthy. However, a substantial number of young children face more challenging conditions such as: poverty; food …[more]

Nonhuman Primate Models in Biomedical Research: State of the Science and Future Needs

Nonhuman Primate Models in Biomedical Research: State of the Science and Future Needs

Nonhuman primates represent a small fraction of animals used in biomedical research, but they remain important research models due to their similarities to humans with respect to genetic makeup, anatomy, physiology, and behavior. Limitations in …[more]

The Future Pediatric Subspecialty Physician Workforce: Meeting the Needs of Infants, Children, and Adolescents

The Future Pediatric Subspecialty Physician Workforce: Meeting the Needs of Infants, Children, and Adolescents

Pediatric subspecialists are critical to ensuring quality care and pursuing research to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for children. However, there are substantial disincentives to pursuing a career as a pediatric subspecialist, …[more]

Science on Interventions to Restore and Protect Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are a major global ecosystem, treasured for their beauty and the many services they provide. Millions of people and thousands of communities depend on coral reefs for fisheries, tourism, and protection from coastal storms, in addition to their cultural value. Problems such as habitat destruction, pollution, and overfishing, and climate change threaten these special ecosystems. Bleaching events, disease, and problems growing hardened reef skeletons are becoming more common. Our publications explore interventions that could enhance the persistence and resilience of coral reefs in the face of these challenges. As always, they are free to read or download.

Oil in the Sea IV: Inputs, Fates, and Effects

Oil in the Sea IV: Inputs, Fates, and Effects

Oil and natural gas represent more than 50 percent of the worldwide energy supply, with high energy demand driven by population growth and improving standards of living. Despite significant progress in reducing the amount of oil in the sea from consumption, exploration, transportation, and …[more]

Biodiversity at Risk: Today's Choices Matter

Biodiversity at Risk: Today’s Choices Matter

A growing body of evidence has sounded the alarm that the biodiversity that supports and sustains life on Earth is at risk. Habitat destruction, resource exploitation, and climate change are among the many stressors that have put 1 million species under threat of extinction and sharply reduced …[more]

A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are critical to ocean and human life because they provide food, living area, storm protection, tourism income, and more. However, human-induced stressors, such as overfishing, sediment, pollution, and habitat destruction have threatened ocean ecosystems globally for decades. In the …[more]

A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

Coral reef declines have been recorded for all major tropical ocean basins since the 1980s, averaging approximately 30-50% reductions in reef cover globally. These losses are a result of numerous problems, including habitat destruction, pollution, overfishing, disease, and climate change. …[more]

Advancing Research on Understanding Environmental Effects of UV Filters from Sunscreens: Proceedings of a Workshop

Advancing Research on Understanding Environmental Effects of UV Filters from Sunscreens: Proceedings of a Workshop

Sunscreens and a variety of other products contain chemical ultraviolet (UV) filters that absorb or block the sun’s radiation and thereby help mitigate harms to human skin from the sun. The 2022 NASEM report Review of Fate, Exposure, and Effects of Sunscreens in Aquatic Environments and …[more]

Review of Fate, Exposure, and Effects of Sunscreens in Aquatic Environments and Implications for Sunscreen Usage and Human Health

Review of Fate, Exposure, and Effects of Sunscreens in Aquatic Environments and Implications for Sunscreen Usage and Human Health

Regular use of sunscreens has been shown to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer, and slow photoaging of skin. Sunscreens can rinse off into water where people are swimming or wading, and can also enter bodies of water through wastewater such as from bathing or showering. As a result, the …[more]

Reckoning with the U.S. Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste

Reckoning with the U.S. Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste

An estimated 8 million metric tons (MMT) of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean each year – the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck of plastic waste into the ocean every minute. Plastic waste is now found in almost every marine habitat, from the ocean surface to deep sea sediments to the …[more]

Effective Monitoring to Evaluate Ecological Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico

Effective Monitoring to Evaluate Ecological Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Coast communities and natural resources suffered extensive direct and indirect damage as a result of the largest accidental oil spill in US history, referred to as the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Notably, natural resources affected by this major spill include wetlands, coastal …[more]

The Future of Treatment and Support for Dementia and Related Diseases

As the largest generation in U.S. history – the population born in the two decades following World War II – enters the age of risk for cognitive impairment, growing numbers of people will experience dementia (including Alzheimer’s and related diseases). By one estimate, nearly 14 million people in the United States will be living with dementia by 2060. As our understanding of these conditions improves, new treatments may slow the progress of dementia and reduce its social and economic impacts. Our publications offer roadmaps for research that addresses the causes of dementia and that improve treatment and support, for both people living with dementia and those who support them. As always, all are free to read online or download.

Reducing the Impact of Dementia in America: A Decadal Survey of the Behavioral and Social Sciences

Reducing the Impact of Dementia in America: A Decadal Survey of the Behavioral and Social Sciences

As the largest generation in U.S. history – the population born in the two decades immediately following World War II – enters the age of risk for cognitive impairment, growing numbers of people will experience dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias). By one estimate, …[more]

The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff

The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff

Nursing homes play a unique dual role in the long-term care continuum, serving as a place where people receive needed health care and a place they call home. Ineffective responses to the complex challenges of nursing home care have resulted in a system that often fails to ensure the well-being …[more]

Mechanisms for Organizational Behavior Change to Address the Needs of People Living with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias: Proceedings of a Workshop

Mechanisms for Organizational Behavior Change to Address the Needs of People Living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: Proceedings of a Workshop

Patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) rely on family members, their community, and the health care system for progressively increasing support over the course of their disease. These people receive care through a frequently siloed health care system across …[more]

Implications for Behavioral and Social Research of Preclinical Markers of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Implications for Behavioral and Social Research of Preclinical Markers of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

On June 28-29, 2021, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a virtual workshop, “Behavioral and Social Research and Clinical Practice Implications of Biomarkers and Other Preclinical Diagnostics of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias” (AD/ADRD). The …[more]

Meeting the Challenge of Caring for Persons Living with Dementia and Their Care Partners and Caregivers: A Way Forward

Meeting the Challenge of Caring for Persons Living with Dementia and Their Care Partners and Caregivers: A Way Forward

Millions of people are living with dementia in the United States and globally. To live well with dementia, people need care, services, and supports that reflect their values and preferences, build on their strengths and abilities, promote well-being, and address needs that evolve as cognitive …[more]

Understanding Nursing Home, Hospice, and Palliative Care for Individuals with Later-Stage Dementia: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Understanding Nursing Home, Hospice, and Palliative Care for Individuals with Later-Stage Dementia: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

On July 7, 2020, the Committee on Developing a Behavioral and Social Science Research Agenda on Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias hosted a public workshop via webcast. This Proceedings of a Workshop-in Brief summarizes the key points made by the workshop participants …[more]

Quality of Life, Preventing Elder Abuse, and Fostering Living Well After a Dementia Diagnosis: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Quality of Life, Preventing Elder Abuse, and Fostering Living Well After a Dementia Diagnosis: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

On July 8, 2020, the Committee on Developing a Behavioral and Social Science Research Agenda on Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias hosted a public workshop via webcast. This Proceedings of a Workshop-in Brief summarizes the key points made by the workshop participants …[more]

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias: Experience and Caregiving, Epidemiology, and Models of Care: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: Experience and Caregiving, Epidemiology, and Models of Care: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

On August 14, 2019, the Committee on Developing a Behavioral and Social Science Research Agenda on Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias convened a public workshop in Washington, D.C., as part of the study “Developing a Behavioral and Social Science Research Agenda on …[more]

Considerations for the Design of a Systematic Review of Care Interventions for Individuals with Dementia and Their Caregivers: Letter Report

Considerations for the Design of a Systematic Review of Care Interventions for Individuals with Dementia and Their Caregivers: Letter Report

Considerations for the Design of a Systematic Review of Care Interventions for Individuals with Dementia and Their Caregivers: Letter Report provides input into the design of an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) systematic review of evidence on effective care-related …[more]

Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward

Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward

Societies around the world are concerned about dementia and the other forms of cognitive impairment that affect many older adults. We now know that brain changes typically begin years before people show symptoms, which suggests a window of opportunity to prevent or delay the onset of these …[more]

Families Caring for an Aging America

Families Caring for an Aging America

Family caregiving affects millions of Americans every day, in all walks of life. At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are caregivers of an older adult with a health or functional limitation. The nation’s family caregivers provide the lion’s share of long-term care for our older …[more]

The Vital Role of the Chemical Sciences

Chemists create life-saving pharmaceuticals, develop energy solutions, improve agricultural productivity, and produce novel materials used in a wide array of products, from cookware to clothing to electronic devices. These recent publications from the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology address the vital role of the chemical sciences in solving environmental problems, making contributions to the U.S. economy, and promoting chemistry education to develop tomorrow’s chemical scientists.

Advancing Chemistry and Quantum Information Science: An Assessment of Research Opportunities at the Interface of Chemistry and Quantum Information Science in the United States

Advancing Chemistry and Quantum Information Science: An Assessment of Research Opportunities at the Interface of Chemistry and Quantum Information Science in the United States

The field of quantum information science (QIS) has witnessed a dramatic rise in scientific research activities in the 21st century as excitement has grown about its potential to revolutionize communications and computing, strengthen encryption, and enhance quantum sensing, among other …[more]

The Importance of Chemical Research to the U.S. Economy

The Importance of Chemical Research to the U.S. Economy

Chemistry plays a pivotal role in the strength of the U.S. economy and the advancement of humankind. Chemists’ achievements include life-saving pharmaceuticals, advanced energy solutions, improved agricultural productivity, and novel materials used in products from clothing to electronic …[more]

The Chemistry of Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface

The Chemistry of Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface

Wildfires in America are becoming larger, more frequent, and more destructive, driven by climate change and existing land management practices. Many of these fires occur at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), areas where development and wildland areas overlap and which are increasingly at risk …[more]

New Directions for Chemical Engineering

New Directions for Chemical Engineering

Over the past century, the work of chemical engineers has helped transform societies and the lives of individuals, from the synthetic fertilizers that helped feed the world to the development of novel materials used in fuels, electronics, medical devices, and other products. Chemical engineers’ …[more]

Why Indoor Chemistry Matters

Why Indoor Chemistry Matters

People spend the vast majority of their time inside their homes and other indoor environments where they are exposed to a wide range of chemicals from building materials, furnishings, occupants, cooking, consumer products, and other sources. Despite research to date, very little is known about …[more]

Innovations in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing on the Horizon: Technical Challenges, Regulatory Issues, and Recommendations

Innovations in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing on the Horizon: Technical Challenges, Regulatory Issues, and Recommendations

In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched the Pharmaceutical Quality for the 21st Century Initiative to encourage adoption of innovative technologies that would lead to an agile, flexible pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. The goal was to encourage a transition to …[more]

A Research Agenda for Transforming Separation Science

A Research Agenda for Transforming Separation Science

Separation science plays a critical role in maintaining our standard of living and quality of life. Many industrial processes and general necessities such as chemicals, medicines, clean water, safe food, and energy sources rely on chemical separations. However, the process of chemical …[more]

Finding Phosphorous on Enceladus and the Search for Life

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

This week, an international team of scientists announced their discovery of phosphorus, a key chemical element for many biological processes, in icy grains emitted by Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Scientists had previously found that Enceladus’ ocean is rich in a variety of organic compounds. This new result marks the first time that this essential element has been discovered in an ocean beyond Earth. Our titles highlight key science questions, identify priority missions, and present research strategies to continue the search for life in our own solar system and beyond. As always, they are free to read online or download.

Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032

Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032

The next decade of planetary science and astrobiology holds tremendous promise. New research will expand our understanding of our solar system’s origins, how planets form and evolve, under what conditions life can survive, and where to find potentially habitable environments in our solar system and beyond. Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal …[more]

An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe

An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. It is an inherently interdisciplinary field that encompasses astronomy, biology, geology, heliophysics, and planetary science, including complementary laboratory activities and field studies conducted in a wide range of terrestrial …[more]

Exoplanet Science Strategy

Exoplanet Science Strategy

The past decade has delivered remarkable discoveries in the study of exoplanets. Hand-in-hand with these advances, a theoretical understanding of the myriad of processes that dictate the formation and evolution of planets has matured, spurred on by the avalanche of unexpected discoveries. Appreciation of the factors that make a planet …[more]

Searching for Life Across Space and Time: Proceedings of a Workshop

Searching for Life Across Space and Time: Proceedings of a Workshop

The search for life is one of the most active fields in space science and involves a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including planetary science, astronomy and astrophysics, chemistry, biology, chemistry, and geoscience. In December 2016, the Space Studies Board hosted a workshop to explore the possibility of habitable environments in …[more]

Astrochemistry: Discoveries to Inform the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Communities: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Astrochemistry: Discoveries to Inform the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Communities: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Throughout much of human history, space was thought to be a void in which only ions or radicals existed. It was only in the last half of the 20th century that scientists began to discover the existence of molecules, such as ammonia, in space. Discovery has accelerated in the last decade with the installation of new facilities and cutting-edge …[more]

Extending Science: NASA's Space Science Mission Extensions and the Senior Review Process

Extending Science: NASA’s Space Science Mission Extensions and the Senior Review Process

NASA operates a large number of space science missions, approximately three-quarters of which are currently in their extended operations phase. They represent not only a majority of operational space science missions, but a substantial national investment and vital national assets. They are tremendously scientifically productive, making many of …[more]

Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Spacecraft Missions to Icy Solar System Bodies

Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Spacecraft Missions to Icy Solar System Bodies

NASA’s exploration of planets and satellites during the past 50 years has led to the discovery of traces of water ice throughout the solar system and prospects for large liquid water reservoirs beneath the frozen ICE shells of multiple satellites of the giant planets of the outer solar system. During the coming decades, NASA and other space …[more]

Life in the Universe: An Assessment of U.S. and International Programs in Astrobiology

Life in the Universe: An Assessment of U.S. and International Programs in Astrobiology

The past decade has seen a remarkable revolution in genomic research, the discoveries of extreme environments in which organisms can live and even flourish on Earth, the identification of past and possibly present liquid-water environments in our solar system, and the detection of planets around other stars. Together these accomplishments bring …[more]

Resources to Strengthen and Support the Healthcare Workforce

Patient-centered, high-quality health care relies on the well-being, health, and safety of health care clinicians. Our publications explore the wide array of settings and practice of the healthcare workforce and provide guidance on workplace policies and programs that support these essential workers. All are free to read online or download.

National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being

National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being [more]

The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff

The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff

Nursing homes play a unique dual role in the long-term care continuum, serving as a place where people receive needed health care and a place they call home. Ineffective responses to the complex challenges of nursing home care have resulted in a system that often fails to ensure the well-being and safety of nursing home residents. The …[more]

Understanding the Aging Workforce: Defining a Research Agenda

Understanding the Aging Workforce: Defining a Research Agenda

The aging population of the United States has significant implications for the workforce – challenging what it means to work and to retire in the U.S. In fact, by 2030, one-fifth of the population will be over age 65. This shift has significant repercussions for the economy and key social programs. Due to medical advancements and public health …[more]

The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity

The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity

The decade ahead will test the nation’s nearly 4 million nurses in new and complex ways. Nurses live and work at the intersection of health, education, and communities. Nurses work in a wide array of settings and practice at a range of professional levels. They are often the first and most frequent line of contact with people of all backgrounds …[more]

Are Generational Categories Meaningful Distinctions for Workforce Management?

Are Generational Categories Meaningful Distinctions for Workforce Management?

Headlines frequently appear that purport to highlight the differences among workers of different generations and explain how employers can manage the wants and needs of each generation. But is each new generation really that different from previous ones? Are there fundamental differences among generations that impact how they act and interact …[more]

Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being

Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being

Patient-centered, high-quality health care relies on the well-being, health, and safety of health care clinicians. However, alarmingly high rates of clinician burnout in the United States are detrimental to the quality of care being provided, harmful to individuals in the workforce, and costly. It is important to take a systemic approach to …[more]

A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health

A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health

The World Health Organization defines the social determinants of health as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.” These forces and systems include economic policies, development agendas, cultural and social norms, social policies, and …[more]

Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation's Health Needs

Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation’s Health Needs

Today’s physician education system produces trained doctors with strong scientific underpinnings in biological and physical sciences as well as supervised practical experience in delivering care. Significant financial public support underlies the graduate-level training of the nation’s physicians. Two federal programs—Medicare and …[more]

Resident Duty Hours: Enhancing Sleep, Supervision, and Safety

Resident Duty Hours: Enhancing Sleep, Supervision, and Safety

Medical residents in hospitals are often required to be on duty for long hours. In 2003 the organization overseeing graduate medical education adopted common program requirements to restrict resident workweeks, including limits to an average of 80 hours over 4 weeks and the longest consecutive period of work to 30 hours in order to protect …[more]

Wildfires: Preparation, Management, and Health Effects

Photo by Ahmer Kalam, Unsplash

Wildfires can play an important role in maintaining ecosystems. However, current environmental and climatic conditions are causing wildfires to become more frequent, larger, and hotter more quickly than wildland fires of the past, putting more and more people, wildlife, and ecosystems at risk. Smoke generated from wildfires can negatively impact air quality and human health, even for people far away from the fire’s origin. Our work provides deeper insight into the science of wildfires, their impacts on the environment and human health, and how individuals, communities, and decision makers can prepare for future fires.

Preparing for and Managing Wildfires

The Chemistry of Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface

The Chemistry of Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface

Wildfires in America are becoming larger, more frequent, and more destructive, driven by climate change and existing land management practices. Many of these fires occur at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), areas where development and wildland areas overlap and which are increasingly at risk of devastating fires as communities continue to …[more]

Visit the interactive webpage for The Chemistry of Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface.

Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: Proceedings of a Workshop

Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: Proceedings of a Workshop

California and other wildfire-prone western states have experienced a substantial increase in the number and intensity of wildfires in recent years. Wildlands and climate experts expect these trends to continue and quite likely to worsen in coming years. Wildfires and other disasters can be particularly devastating for vulnerable communities. …[more]

A Century of Wildland Fire Research: Contributions to Long-term Approaches for Wildland Fire Management: Proceedings of a Workshop

A Century of Wildland Fire Research: Contributions to Long-term Approaches for Wildland Fire Management: Proceedings of a Workshop

Although ecosystems, humans, and fire have coexisted for millennia, changes in geology, ecology, hydrology, and climate as well as sociocultural, regulatory, and economic factors have converged to make wildland fire management exceptionally challenging for U.S. federal, state, and local authorities. Given the mounting, unsustainable costs and …[more]

Wildfires and Human Health

Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop

Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop

Wildland fires pose a growing threat to air quality and human health. Fire is a natural part of many landscapes, but the extent of area burned and the severity of fires have been increasing, concurrent with human movement into previously uninhabited fire-prone areas and forest management practices that have increased fuel loads. These changes …[more]

Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards

Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards

Individuals in the United States and Americans abroad are exposed to inhalation hazards from a variety of sources, and these hazards can have both short- and long-term adverse effects on health. For example, exposure to wildfire smoke, which contains particulate matter and toxic chemicals, can lead to respiratory problems, increased risk for …[more]

Indoor Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter and Practical Mitigation Approaches: Proceedings of a Workshop

Indoor Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter and Practical Mitigation Approaches: Proceedings of a Workshop

Overwhelming evidence exists that exposure to outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with a range of short-term and chronic health impacts, including asthma exacerbation, acute and chronic bronchitis, heart attacks, increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, and premature death, with the burden of these health effects …[more]

How Smoke Moves

Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States

Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States

Recent advances in air pollution monitoring and modeling capabilities have made it possible to show that air pollution can be transported long distances and that adverse impacts of emitted pollutants cannot be confined to one country or even one continent. Pollutants from traffic, cooking stoves, and factories emitted half a world away can make …[more]

The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow

The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow

Our world is changing at an accelerating rate. The global human population has grown from 6.1 billion to 7.1 billion in the last 15 years and is projected to reach 11.2 billion by the end of the century. The distribution of humans across the globe has also shifted, with more than 50 percent of the global population now living in urban areas, …[more]

Getting to the Bottom of Earth’s Past Through Ocean Drilling

The JOIDES Resolution, Source: Picasa

Geologists around the world hailed the June 2023 news that a scientific expedition to the mid-Atlantic Ridge succeeded in collecting samples of Earth’s mantle from the ocean floor. The breakthrough fulfilled a nearly century-old dream to reach Earth’s mantle, which holds essential clues about Earth’s age, makeup, and internal processes. In 1957, NAS member Walter Munk had proposed “Project Mohole”, an attempt to drill through a couple of miles of Earth’s crust at the Mohorovicic Discontinuity, or Moho, but the project never reached that goal. The 2023 expedition aboard the drill ship JOIDES Resolution succeeded by finding a “tectonic window” in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where the mantle is just about a mile beneath the ocean floor. Many reports from the National Academies have explored the need for, value of, and technical challenges of scientific ocean drilling. As always, those reports are free to read online or download.

A Vision for NSF Earth Sciences 2020-2030: Earth in Time

A Vision for NSF Earth Sciences 2020-2030: Earth in Time

The Earth system functions and connects in unexpected ways – from the microscopic interactions of bacteria and rocks to the macro-scale processes that build and erode mountains and regulate Earth’s climate. Efforts to study Earth’s intertwined processes are made even more pertinent and urgent by the need to understand how the Earth can continue …[more]

Sea Change: 2015-2025 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences

Sea Change: 2015-2025 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences

Ocean science connects a global community of scientists in many disciplines – physics, chemistry, biology, geology and geophysics. New observational and computational technologies are transforming the ability of scientists to study the global ocean with a more integrated and dynamic approach. This enhanced understanding of the ocean is becoming …[more]

Preparing the Next Generation of Earth Scientists: An Examination of Federal Education and Training Programs

Preparing the Next Generation of Earth Scientists: An Examination of Federal Education and Training Programs

Earth science, which in this context does not include oceanic, atmospheric, and space sciences, is vital to the wellbeing of the United States and many of its issues, such as water resources, are expected to grow in importance. An earth science workforce will be needed to deal with this issues and it’s important that this workforce draw on the …[more]

Scientific Ocean Drilling: Accomplishments and Challenges

Scientific Ocean Drilling: Accomplishments and Challenges

Through direct exploration of the subseafloor, U.S.-supported scientific ocean drilling programs have significantly contributed to a broad range of scientific accomplishments in Earth science disciplines, shaping understanding of Earth systems and enabling new fields of inquiry. Scientific Ocean Drilling: Accomplishments and Challenges[more]

Symposium Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Demonstration of the Feasibility of Deep Ocean Drilling: Proceedings of a Symposium, September 22, 1986, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.

Symposium Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Demonstration of the Feasibility of Deep Ocean Drilling: Proceedings of a Symposium, September 22, 1986, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. [more]

Options for Scientific Ocean Drilling

Options for Scientific Ocean Drilling [more]

Upcoming Study (Publication expected by 2024):

Future Directions for Southern Ocean and Antarctic Nearshore and Coastal Research | National Academies

This report will provide guidance to the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs on future directions for Southern Ocean and Antarctic nearshore and coastal research. The committee will identify the highest-priority science drivers and needed capabilities, including drilling platforms needed for scientific research in the Southern Ocean.

Upcoming Study (Publication expected by 2024):

2025-2035 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences for the National Science Foundation

As part of the next ocean decadal survey for the National Science Foundation, an interim report will be produced to provide on the resources and infrastructure available to address high priority research questions requiring scientific ocean drilling.

Resources to Explore the Changing Research Environment

Scientist Working in The Laboratory

Today’s research enterprise is growing increasingly more international, interdisciplinary, and interconnected with other societal sectors. Research increasingly integrates knowledge and tools from the life sciences, the physical sciences, engineering, and other fields. Our titles explore the changing research enterprise, including ethical issues in research, scientific research workflows, best practices for open science to spur research and innovation, and how best to support and prepare the next generation of scientists.

Using Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Research: A New Framework for an Evolving Field

Using Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Research: A New Framework for an Evolving Field

Genetic and genomic information has become far more accessible, and research using human genetic data has grown exponentially over the past decade. Genetics and genomics research is now being conducted by a wide range of investigators across disciplines, who often use population descriptors …[more]

Automated Research Workflows for Accelerated Discovery: Closing the Knowledge Discovery Loop

Automated Research Workflows for Accelerated Discovery: Closing the Knowledge Discovery Loop

The needs and demands placed on science to address a range of urgent problems are growing. The world is faced with complex, interrelated challenges in which the way forward lies hidden or dispersed across disciplines and organizations. For centuries, scientific research has progressed through …[more]

Fostering Responsible Computing Research: Foundations and Practices

Fostering Responsible Computing Research: Foundations and Practices

With computing technologies increasingly woven into our society and infrastructure, it is vital for the computing research community to be able to address the ethical and societal challenges that can arise from the development of these technologies, from the erosion of personal privacy to the …[more]

Improving Representation in Clinical Trials and Research: Building Research Equity for Women and Underrepresented Groups

Improving Representation in Clinical Trials and Research: Building Research Equity for Women and Underrepresented Groups

The United States has long made substantial investments in clinical research with the goal of improving the health and well-being of our nation. There is no doubt that these investments have contributed significantly to treating and preventing disease and extending human life. Nevertheless, …[more]

Ontologies in the Behavioral Sciences: Accelerating Research and the Spread of Knowledge

Ontologies in the Behavioral Sciences: Accelerating Research and the Spread of Knowledge

New research in psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, and other fields is published every day, but the gap between what is known and the capacity to act on that knowledge has never been larger. Scholars and nonscholars alike face the problem of how to organize knowledge and to integrate …[more]

Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation

Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation

Sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation are key indicators of the demographic diversity in the United States. Sex and gender are often conflated under the assumptions that they are mutually determined and do not differ from each other; however, the growing visibility of transgender and …[more]

Physics of Life

Physics of Life

Biological physics, or the physics of living systems, has emerged fully as a field of physics, alongside more traditional fields of astrophysics and cosmology, atomic, molecular and optical physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, particle physics, and plasma physics. This new field …[more]

The Endless Frontier: The Next 75 Years in Science

The Endless Frontier: The Next 75 Years in Science

The National Academy of Sciences hosted a symposium on February 26, 2020, that gathered top business, academic, and government leaders to explore whether the modern research architecture that fuels U.S. innovation needs to be reconfigured to meet the challenges of our time. The event was held in …[more]

Reproducibility and Replicability in Science

Reproducibility and Replicability in Science

One of the pathways by which the scientific community confirms the validity of a new scientific discovery is by repeating the research that produced it. When a scientific effort fails to independently confirm the computations or results of a previous study, some fear that it may be a symptom of …[more]

Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research

Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research

Openness and sharing of information are fundamental to the progress of science and to the effective functioning of the research enterprise. The advent of scientific journals in the 17th century helped power the Scientific Revolution by allowing researchers to communicate across time and space, …[more]

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science

The past half-century has witnessed a dramatic increase in the scale and complexity of scientific research. The growing scale of science has been accompanied by a shift toward collaborative research, referred to as “team science.” Scientific research is increasingly conducted by small teams and …[more]

Convergence: Facilitating Transdisciplinary Integration of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Beyond

Convergence: Facilitating Transdisciplinary Integration of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Beyond

Convergence of the life sciences with fields including physical, chemical, mathematical, computational, engineering, and social sciences is a key strategy to tackle complex challenges and achieve new and innovative solutions. However, institutions face a lack of guidance on how to establish …[more]

Explore the Possibilities and Challenges of Biotechnology

Fundamental, emerging, and applied life science and biotechnology research are critical to the bioeconomy, science, health, agriculture, energy, the environment, and national security and defense. The biotechnology economy is growing rapidly, with the scale, scope, and complexity of products increasing. Our titles address critical, emerging policy and technical issues associated with the life sciences and biotechnology research and their applications.

Physics of Life

Physics of Life

Biological physics, or the physics of living systems, has emerged fully as a field of physics, alongside more traditional fields of astrophysics and cosmology, atomic, molecular and optical physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, particle physics, and plasma physics. This new field brings the physicist’s style of inquiry to bear on …[more]

Heritable Human Genome Editing

Heritable Human Genome Editing

Heritable human genome editing – making changes to the genetic material of eggs, sperm, or any cells that lead to their development, including the cells of early embryos, and establishing a pregnancy – raises not only scientific and medical considerations but also a host of ethical, moral, and societal issues. Human embryos whose genomes have …[more]

Safeguarding the Bioeconomy

Safeguarding the Bioeconomy

Research and innovation in the life sciences is driving rapid growth in agriculture, biomedical science, information science and computing, energy, and other sectors of the U.S. economy. This economic activity, conceptually referred to as the bioeconomy, presents many opportunities to create jobs, improve the quality of life, and continue to …[more]

Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations

Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations

The American chestnut, whitebark pine, and several species of ash in the eastern United States are just a few of the North American tree species that have been functionally lost or are in jeopardy of being lost due to outbreaks of pathogens and insect pests. New pressures in this century are putting even more trees at risk. Expanded human …[more]

Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology

Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology

Scientific advances over the past several decades have accelerated the ability to engineer existing organisms and to potentially create novel ones not found in nature. Synthetic biology, which collectively refers to concepts, approaches, and tools that enable the modification or creation of biological organisms, is being pursued overwhelmingly …[more]

Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance

Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance

Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organism’s genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an explosion of interest from around the globe in the possible ways in which genome editing can improve …[more]

Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology

Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology

Between 1973 and 2016, the ways to manipulate DNA to endow new characteristics in an organism (that is, biotechnology) have advanced, enabling the development of products that were not previously possible. What will the likely future products of biotechnology be over the next 5–10 years? What scientific capabilities, tools, and/or expertise …[more]

Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values

Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values

Research on gene drive systems is rapidly advancing. Many proposed applications of gene drive research aim to solve environmental and public health challenges, including the reduction of poverty and the burden of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue, which disproportionately impact low and middle income countries. However, due to …[more]

Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects

Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects

Genetically engineered (GE) crops were first introduced commercially in the 1990s. After two decades of production, some groups and individuals remain critical of the technology based on their concerns about possible adverse effects on human health, the environment, and ethical considerations. At the same time, others are concerned that the …[more]